Health care, scandals and myths

NHSStafford scandal: Let’s face the truth about our uncaring, selfish and cruel NHS – Telegraph.

[This is a joint piece, with input from NEO]

The story outlined in this article is unbelievable – yet true. What is all the more unbelievable is that the author of this report says no one should be made a ‘scapegoat’, and puts the blame on ‘systems’ and ‘cultures’.

Someone recently said that the National Health Service (NHS) was the closest the British now have to a religion. At the opening ceremony of the Olympics there was a section given over to celebrating the NHS. We are always being told it is the ‘envy of the world’, and in something close to brainwashing, any criticism of it is usually quickly closed down by the media. We’ve been fed a version of its history which tells us that before it poor people were toothless and dying in the streets for lack of money, but that now it cares for us all regardless of cost on a basis of ‘need’ only. It is, in short, the last argument left for socialism. That may be why so many in our media circles refuse to see, even when they get a report like this, that their story no longer holds water.

There’s no such thing as ‘regardless of cost’. The NHS is the largest employer in Europe. Every doctor and nurse in every hospital, every porter, every workman in hospitals, every local doctor, every midwife and social worker, they are all NHS employees. The bill of this is huge. Whether, as some say, it is £100 billion, or £101.5 billion, it costs each of us about £1500 a year.

The BBC, funded by a compulsory tax on every household with a TV, tells us how wonderful it is and how much better than what the Americans have. It is certainly true that no one in the UK needs to worry about paying if they get ill. The NHS will take care of you – the problem is not the money, it is the ‘care’.

Across the last couple of decades our nurses have become much better qualified – they now have to be graduates. It is also true that across that time the standard of actual care has gone down, and they are now seriously suggesting that nurses need to be taught how to care. As in any nationalised industry, there are ‘targets’ to be achieved, and the report into the Staffordshire scandal shows how these, rather than patient care, became the primary concern of the managers and staff.

So yes, if you get ill the UK, you can see a doctor for free (although you will have to pay nearly £8 for any prescription medication he gives you), and you are operated on and cared for for free (that is you’ve already paid it in taxes). All of that is excellent, but it all costs, and clearly costs more than the hard-pressed taxpayer can afford. As in any large organisation with many employees, keeping an eye on the budget is difficult, and there is no doubt that the costs of medical care have escalated, and will continue to do so.

Whether scandals such as this one will actually make people in the UK wake up to the reality of the NHS I doubt. But as anyone who has been ill in Germany or Sweden will tell you, there are better ways of doing these things. It is here that the myth of the NHS does the greatest harm. Any politician who suggests the thing needs root and branch reform is branded a heretic – when in fact he may well be saying no more than a truth which the media do not want to hear.

From the point of view of the United States, it is a reminder that some of the examples called in aid in favour of Obamacare need more analysis and less sentimentality.


Moving Forward: Repeal and Deregulate

OK, the Supreme Court let us down by rewriting the law. There’s lots of stuff about pressure being brought to bear floating around but, it’s irrelevant. Where do we go from here? I don’t have the definitive answers but, I do have some thoughts. See if your thinking follows mine. Time is short if we are to win, so let’s get moving.

From my comments:

Trevor Nagle, ABDsays:

And yet additional regulation is precisely what would have kept the latest financial crisis averted….interesting perspective. It was the unfettered greed and corruption in an deregulated banking system that is widely viewed as the culprit for the housing market (and subsequent global economic) collapse. You see, purely rational economics and pure free markets do not account for irrational (from a societal standpoint) economic behavior. Put plainly, from a system perspective, greed is NOT rational economics. Hence the need for regulation. It’s not about simply stealing from the rich to give to the lazy (as it’s too often framed), but rather to ensure the composite stability of a society based on the irrational economic behaviors of individuals.

Sorry for the delay, Trevor, as always, you make me think, which is good. Anyway, I won’t concede your premise that additional regulation would have averted the financial crises, although regulators DOING their jobs might have. Most of that crisis was forced by Fannie/Freddie insisting on bad loans being made. If you loan an unemployed person a quarter mil to buy a house you shouldn’t be surprised when it doesn’t work out.

No, greed is not rational economics, even if we use the old catchphrase “All that the market will bear” that indicates that if I set my price point above a rational level, the market won’t bear it. And everything we purchase/consume is in that market basket.

Individual consumers will always behave irrationally (in my eyes or yours) but, it’s their money and their choice. If they want to eat at Mickey D’s, and live without electricity, it’s not my problem.

Healthcare has been perverted as a marketplace over the years.

First, FDR’s wage controls during WW II caused it to be turned into a corporate benefit when it should have been an individual choice.

Second, and possibly connected causally, health care became the equivalent of having automotive insurance cover oil changes, instead of catastrophic problems.

Third, even at the state level, the requirements to offer a policy are often ridiculous. Why should a single 59 yo man (That’s me) have coverage for contraception, which in some states I would be required to.


First, cross state marketing, If you want some unusual coverage you can probably find it.

Second, Tort reform. No don’t make anybody immune but, make it difficult to file and carry our silly suits, such as suing MacDonald’s for serving hot coffee.
This, to me, is one of the weaknesses of single-payor; they can not be held responsible for their choices.

Prosecute fraud with all the severity of the law. If an insurance company doesn’t honor the contract, let the AG fix it. I can remember Ford Motor Company being criminally indicted for Pinto gas tanks, so it’s not impossible.

Obviously, I don’t have all the answers but, I think this is the direction we should be heading. Thanks for your comment.

If Obama-care Is Overturned, Then What? « Mark America

Reblogged from MarkAmerica

The  question has been asked here on this site, and on others what will become of the state of health-care if Obama-care falls.  I’ve heard the gnashing of teeth among those who think we need some kind of health-care reform, and while I agree, I doubt most would agree with my own prescription. Cold-hearted.  Selfish.  Greedy.   These are all the terms that would be used by statists to describe my own visions of health-care reform.  Even a few alleged conservatives can’t quite bring themselves to endorse my view because at heart, they’re not free market capitalists.  You shouldn’t be surprised, as there are many self-proclaimed “conservatives” who are really nothing of the sort, and who would just as readily inflict and impose their vision of “fairness” as any left-wing socialist radical.  The difference is that they claim to be motivated by other ideas, or beliefs, but what remains universally true is that to impose them, they too must destroy liberty.  I oppose any such plan, plot, or program, irrespective of the source, and I think it’s time we had this little talk lest there be some confusion: I don’t support government involvement in any aspect of healthcare.  None.

Continue reading If Obama-care Is Overturned, Then What? « Mark America.

I probably don’t need to remind my readers that I completely agree. In fact, I would go farther and suggest that regulation itself is unwarranted, give that money to state Attorney’s General to combat insurance fraud (from both sides).

Health Care

First things first, Obamacare is unconstitutional,a budget buster, a haven for fraud, an attack on Freedom of Religion, and a bunch of other bad things but, that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about health care and what is really wrong with it.

  1. Insurance for trivial expenses.If you remember what insurance is for, how did we get here? Why would you pay an insurance company to pay for routine doctor visits. When I was a kid, when you went to the doctor it cost something like $5 or $10 dollars. My folks had pretty good insurance but, they would never have considered expecting the insurance company to pay for a doctor visit. Insurance is for unforeseen major expenses, like breaking your leg. This is also a practical reason for not including contraceptives in an insurance plan. All contraceptives are an optional thing. You don’t need a contraceptive if you don’t have sex, and nobody (short of rape) is going to force you to have sex. Using insurance to pay for routine medical care also needlessly inserts bureaucracy into a routine transaction. What do you suppose it adds to the bill 10%-20%, I’d bet something on the order of at least 50%. It also removes YOU from the transaction, leading to the possibility of the doctor refusing the treatment you want because your insurance won’t pay for it.
  2. Tort reform. There are far to many frivolous lawsuits floating around, and it’s causing far too many health care providers to leave practice. It also causes defensive medicine where a doctor will order every test he can think of to avoid missing something, the patient doesn’t care (see point one) and if you happen to have a patient with leprosy or something, you’re covered. Yes, the patient always needs to have financial recourse against negligent or incompetent doctor’s, but a misdiagnosed hangnail is not worth a million dollars (a third of it to the lawyer). This problem is extremely advanced (from my reading) for OB/GYNs, probably because when you’re dealing with a newborn, the payments for mistakes can be immense.
  3. Employer paid insurance. We have FDR to thank for this one. During World War 2 the government was so afraid that someone would make too much money that income tax was raised and raised, they also discovered that with the magic of withholding very few would notice how huge a chunk the government was taking. Since there were price controls on almost everything and wage controls and whatnot, employers needed an advantage to convince people to work for them rather than Joe Blow down the street. Thus employers paid health insurance, as a benefit, a somewhat reasonable response to government controls on the economy. Employees liked it, so it hung on after the war (so, unfortunately did withholding). But again it removes the customer one more step from the transaction. Now we not only have the insurance company between the doctor and the patient but the employer too. And my employer is not necessarily who I want to know what I’m going to the doctor for anyway.
  4. Mandating Coverage. If I want to write a reasonable health insurance plan for me, there are things that I have no reason to pay for. I’m a single guy so why would I need pregnancy coverage (I’m also unlikely to date many more women who are in their child-bearing years) or any of the other so-called women’s issues. I’m happy being a guy so I have no need for sex change insurance, again, I’m old, too. I don’t need coverage for hair replacement either, If I go bald, well, I guess I’ll be bald. I don’t need coverage for an annual trip to the doctor, I’d rather be in charge of who my doctor is and pay for it, if I feel the need. Why do the Feds (and the states) feel the need to mandate coverage anyway, are we too stupid to read the policy and make some basic decisions.
  5. Cross state purchasing. This is closely related to number four, If any policy I want in Nebraska costs, say, $500 but, I can buy an equivalent policy in South Dakota for $250, why can’t I? I’m a (supposedly) free citizen, not some moron that belongs to the State of Nebraska.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s just off the top of my head but, I would bet if implemented, health care costs could be reduced at least 25% and probably much more. And that’s before we address all the fraud that bureaucracy leads to.

You know the biggest surprise of all. We have, by far, the best health care in the world, for now, even with all of its problems.


Race for the Cure Logo

Image via Wikipedia

News from the culture of death:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has apparently decided that it is more important to appease the left and the abortionists baby killers at Planned Parenthood than to live with their own rules so they decided to restore the funding that they had removed only days ago. Other things I have read this week indicate that while they do do some good work in research, it only comprises about 32% of their budget. It seem they are the non-profit version of a crony capitalist doing a good job of getting government funding for their programs and probably themselves. They are a private group, so what they do with their budget is none of my business but, their budget will have to get by without any contribution from me. Not that they are likely to miss it.

Obama v The Roman Catholic Church. Obama seems to have decided to give the Church another year to figure out how to serve two masters: God and the US Government. At that point they will have to dispense birth control and kill babies or lose their health care funding if they want to serve other than their churchmembers. The Church has said they will close their healthcare system, good for them, that is the correct answer if they cannot exist without government funding. I’ve had few dealings with them, the few I have had (including the death of my mother) they were the most compassionate and helpful group you could ever ask for in a time of trouble.

The point here is that government should not be involved in healthcare.

While were on the subject of religion, if you are a politician who believes that charity should be enforced by stealing my earnings at the point of a gun would you please just quit trying to convince me that Jesus want you to. He wants me to be charitable and help the unfortunate all right. But it is not charitable to steal to help others to lazy to work. Two Bible quote (not verbatim) on point: Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars and If a man shall not work neither shall he eat.

In other news:

The minimum wage causes unemployment amongst the young. Of course it does, Duh, when you are starting out you don’t have the skills to earn that much after the costs of employment are covered (usually) Alan over at Green Mountain Scribes has a post up about this. Link here.

The State of Education:

The indoctrination of our young people goes on. They don’t teach history anymore, except for the perverted liberal/progressive version. Mark America think he might have a partial cure. What would happen if we grown up conservative went back to school and gave the so-called professors a rebuttal all day every day, after all the facts and logic are on our side. I like it. Link here.

Along the same lines; what is education for? In my opinion, beyond which reading, writing, and arithmetic (yes, it would be nice, if the public schools would at least teach this much) the purpose of education is to teach young minds to think critically and question everything. Beyond 2+2=4 one needs to question how the author, professor, propagandist came to his conclusion and is it logical.

With reference to how well the schools are doing, have you seen this video? I’ll wait over here while you dry your tears whether they are from laughing at these idiots or crying for our future. Hat tip to the Chicks on the Right.

So the world is still going to hell in a handbasket but the slope is getting steeper and slipperier.


Health care Implementation, part 2: RANT ALERT

Rant alert

First Navy Jack In use for the duration of the...

Image via Wikipedia

As you know, yesterday I reposted an article from my friends at Grassroots in Nebraska with regard to health care implementation. If you haven’t read it yet, follow that link. It is very informative and has very valuable information on how the implementation is proceeding and the ways taxpayers’ money is being spent on this (not only in Nebraska, either).

Most of you know that I am always willing to engage in reasonable debate on nearly any of the things I know or believe, indeed, I’ve discussed things that we disagreed on with almost all of you who comment either here or on your site. Have we convinced each other? I doubt it, but we clarified our thinking and had fun at least.

So imagine my surprise when this turned up in my inbox from a friend and customer within minutes after the post:

It is NOT Obamacare. it is American Healthcare. It was voted into LAW. Get it straight!

Aside from the supercilious and condescending  tone, which is far more arrogant than my parents used with me after I turned five, and that I tolerate from no one, what amazed me the most is that this person, who is highly educated, had absolutely nothing to say on point. The quote above is the entire e-mail. I suppose though, in fairness, I shouldn’t expect much of anyone who believes MSNBC is anything but Obama’s Propaganda Ministry. Also it’s not American Healthcare it’s actually the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act“.

They are right however, it is the law, until we get it fixed. It was passed by a venal, unrepresentative, unresponsive, and arrogant Congress over the (very) vocal remonstrances of their constituents and signed by a left-wing ideologue POTUS, while doing his best to turn the exceptional America we grew up in and love into another Greece, by stealing hard-earned dollars of the productive 53% of the people of America to give to the lazy and entitled.

This bill is only masked as healthcare as we know, it really is a grab at the dollars and independence of the individual American. It is nothing less than an attempt to make us all dependent on the government. We all know that Reagan said, “The scariest 9 words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

This bill also reduces Medicare benefits for the elderly by stealing money from that program to pay for this one. It makes it nearly impossible for business to continue to offer health care. It specifically calls for “Death Panels” and rationing of care (by distant bureaucrats) and a myriad of other things.

Also, I’ll bet I’m not the only one that noticed that Medicaid and Medicare have openly admitted that roughly 30% of their budget is spent on fraudulent schemes. And we are going to turn over about 90% health care to these same people who are so incompetent that they don’t even deserve the title of bureaucrat?

If I had wanted to have the National Health Care, I would have emigrated to Great Britain or Canada. America is exceptional, but it will be a lot less exceptional under this hydra-headed monster called Obamacare. See, I said it again.

Obviously, I will be reevaluating whether this person will remain either a friend or customer after I get myself scraped off the overhead and cool down some.

%d bloggers like this: